Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Our new year is underway, friends, and God is on the move! Our children and staff are building relationships and comfort is taking in new routines and spaces. It is a joy to watch all of the prayers and plans come to fruition. Behold, God is doing a new thing….and we love it!
Yours in Christ’s service,
Drop off & Pick up
One of the priorities of our staff at Holland Christian is keeping your little one safe and happy when they are in our care. When laying the plans for the year we want to be intentional about meeting that goal from the moment they arrive to the moment they reach your hands at the end of the school day again. This includes drop off and pick up safety procedures. Because ALL of us are part of that process, we need a good, cohesive plan and we ask that everyone stick to the plan, please! Thank you for your attention to this important part of your child’s day. Drop off begins at 8 in the morning. School starts by 8:20. Pick up takes place at 3:20pm after school on full days or 11:30am on half days.
There are three choices you can select from when bringing your child to school: by bus, by car, or by walking. Please note the requested expectations for each of these options:
Busing Option: As students arrive by bus, they will be dropped off next to the circle drive and the bus driver will ensure the child walks safely to their classroom. They will be greeted by one of our teacher assistants or Mrs. Rynsburger as they make their way to their cabin to start the day.
Carpool Option: The circle drive is intended to be thought of as similar to a drive-thru. You may pull your car forward in the right hand side of the loop. Your child may say good-bye to you inside of the car. Your child may exit the car and walk onto the sidewalk. They will be greeted by one of our teacher assistants or Mrs. Rynsburger as they make their way to their cabin to start the day!
Walkers: There is a single line of parking spaces next to the dividing wall in our parking lot. This small single row of parking spaces is intended for staff parking. Staff arrives earlier than the children and we don’t worry about crossing the lane of oncoming traffic. Please avoid the use of this parking area for drop off or pick up. If you would like to park and walk your child into the classroom, we ask that you please park in the main, large parking lot. You will note there is a striped pedestrian path that leads you to our sidewalk around the circle drive. Enjoy the walk together (it’s not the shortest route possible but it is the safest. Rather than people walking in from many starting points, it is most safe if we are all willing to adhere to this request). Once you’ve rounded the bend of the circle drive, you will be greeted by one of our teacher assistants or Mrs. Rynsburger as you make your way to your child’s cabin to start the day!
Busing Option: Teacher assistants will walk our children taking the bus home to a bus stop area near our cabins but just a bit out of the traffic congestion of carpool. The bus stop is just down the fencing area next to the stadium. We’d be happy to point out the bus stop to you anytime. The teacher assistant will ensure each child gets on the bus safely and they will be home with you before you know it!
Carpool Option: Again, let’s think of this like a drive-thru in the most loving way possible! This year we will have TWO lanes of carpool open for cars to pull into and park. Your family will be given a nameplate to please put in your passenger window. We will use this nameplate to identify your car. We will bring your child to you. Please remain inside of your car. When your child is in your car, we ask that you please wait until all children are loaded. We’re all in this together and we all want each other’s children to safely return to their cars. Once two lanes of cars are filled with children, we will wave you forward. The next shift of cars will pull forward and once again park. Using the nameplate in the passenger window, we will bring your child to your car. This process will continue until every child has been reunited with every family.
Walkers: Please park in the large parking lot on the south side of the dividing wall. You may use the pedestrian striped walkway to access the sidewalk. If you’d like to wait for your child to come to you, please wait in the grassy area near the pond. When the children walk out, they will be ushered to you by their teacher. Once you have received your child, you may walk together on the sidewalk around the circle drive as you listen to the busy jabber with all of the details of the school day.
Thank you in advance for your willingness to compromise a little of individual convenience in order to enjoy community safety!
NEW Office Contact Information
If you need to get in touch with the office, please email our new administration assistant team from Pine Ridge who will be taking on the care of our Forest Family, Cara Boss & Kristi Washburn, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616.820.3505. Feel free to leave a voicemail or send us an email at any time to excuse your student, let us know about appointments or any changes to your student’s normal pickup routine. It is important the office knows as well as your student’s teacher! As always, your friend and principal is eager to hear from you as well.
Kindergarten and first grade will have school pictures taken on September 8. They will walk to the middle school library for their pictures. We’ll try to make sure we take these pictures BEFORE splashing in the puddles! 🙂
2nd, 3rd and 4th grade will have school pictures taken at Pine Ridge on September 22. 2nd grade photos will be taken first thing in the morning before they set sail to Sassafras Ridge.
NWEA- MAP Assessment
We are intentionally learning about and falling in love with each child in our care. Part of getting to know them is discovering their learning styles, needs and gifts! Your child will be reading one-on-one with his/her teacher in an assessment called a running record. This provides us a very clear diagnostic perspective on your growing reader. Another tool we use is the NWEA-MAP assessment. This is another one of the tools we use in the portfolio of assessment as we learn about our students. Your child will take this assessment on his/her iPad or computer at some point during our testing window which is 9/6-9/16.
Walkathon – September 28
Our annual prek-8th grade Walkathon will take place on Wednesday, September 28. Our Walkathon raises funds for each of our buildings for things that are beyond our budget. These funds help enhance classrooms, provide special extra resources for teachers, and fill in the gaps for needs that arise throughout the school year. Your child will be coming home with a manilla envelope with instructions this week. In that envelope is also a description of the prizes that can be won this year! We appreciate your willingness to participate and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Your child will be given a theme walkathon t-shirt. Please save this shirt for special events this school year such as the spring program and Tulip Time choices.
We are getting into the groove with our new hot lunch procedures. Please reach out to the office via phone or email if you need your child’s student ID number to connect to the hot lunch portal. Check out these detailed directions if you’re needing more information about setting up your account. To add money to your child’s account you can use your credit card online (no extra processing fees), bring a check into the office with your child’s name written on the memo line, or bring cash into the office in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on the envelope.
Moms In Prayer
Moms in Prayer is a great way to connect with other moms, pray for your child, and have an impact on Forest School. Please join us on Fridays starting September 9 at Providence Church 8:30-9:30am. Contact Nicole Shook with questions.
Holland Police Department
As purely proactive measures, we will have a team of officers consult with our Forest School staff on safety measures and practices in Forest School during one of our first staff meetings this year. Our program is unique and we hold the safety of your children and staff in upmost importance. We are grateful for the partnership and wisdom of our local law enforcement friends.
Half-day Professional Development
In an effort to grow your children with best practices, we take very seriously the growth of our staff and faculty. To that end, you will note periodic Friday half-days in our calendar this year. We are grateful for your accommodating this learning time for your child’s teacher. You will note the first half-day professional development will be on Friday, September 16.
For your planning purposes, Grandparents Day in our Forest will take place in the spring. More details will be forthcoming as they are available.
Holland Christian Elementary Unified Soccer
Interested in an inclusive sport opportunity? Unified Sports is a part of the Unified Champion Schools program offered through Special Olympics. It is a unique and inclusive athletic opportunity for students with and without disabilities to play together on the same team, making athletics more accessible for students who may not otherwise be included or invited to be on a team. Holland Christian and Zeeland Christian partner to form the Maroons Unified team. We are offering Soccer this Fall and are looking for partners to join the team. If you are interested in this opportunity for your child, please fill out this Google form.
Holland Christian Girls Cheer Clinic Opportunity
- 2: No school
- 5: No school: Labor Day
- 8: Picture day for K and 1
- 16: 1/2 day for teacher PD
- 22: Picture day for 2, 3 and 4th
- 28: Walkathon
- 17: Parent Teacher Conferences 4-8pm
- 19: Half day of school: Parent Teacher Conferences
- 20-21: CEA Convention: No school